While a beautifully set table is the dominant focal point that draws immediate attention from all who enter the dining room, items that surround this center ensemble are what tie the overall look of the room together.
Decorative items such as a wine rack in one corner and a large, framed work of art on the wall offer visual balance; adding one more piece of furniture, the sideboard, will complete your dining room’s attraction and functionality.
Style and Convenience in Dining Room Furniture
Sideboards, also known as buffets, servers and credenzas, are sturdy pieces of dining room furniture that are traditionally used to serve food. Long in structure, with the top surface aligning with the average waist, they are constructed with built in drawers and/or cabinets.
Many dining room sets consist of a table, chairs and the coordinating buffet. There are many styles to suit every decorative preference, including antique pieces offering embellishments of ornate carving, traditional wooden pieces and modern contemporary.
Furniture Design and Finish
Buffets come in an array of styles, from the overall design to the materials used in construction. Combinations of hardwood and veneers are the most common, offering the look of mahogany, oak, pine, maple or other wooden finishes.
For an antique appearance, a distressed finish may be applied. Solid white, black or espresso hues offer crisp choices.
The top surfaces may deviate from the wood used in the body’s construction, the servers are often crowned with granite, marble, glass, tile or stainless steel, depending on the design style.
Storage options include a combination of drawers and shelves. Shelves may be open; some may be concealed behind cabinet doors. Wine bottle storage may be incorporated as well.
Some feature an optional enclosed hutch with glass-paned doors to safely display delicate pieces of china or crystal. Many of these hutches eliminate the functional surface since they are positioned on top of the server.
Some designs include a built in open-style hutch, similar in appearance to a baker’s rack, which will allow vertical open display of dishware without sacrificing serving space. Open hutches may be composed of attractive metallic scrollwork.
Everything In Its Place with a Sideboard Server
With all of its built-in compartments, the sideboard provides the perfect place to stow items commonly used in the dining room. Drawers hold table linens, organize silverware and corral candles, lighters and corkscrews. Shelves attractively display cherished serving bowls and platters. Cabinets house stemware and dishes.
Designs with a shelf that runs the length of the server near the bottom of the unit provide the perfect space to store those larger serving platters. Wine is stashed in convenient bottle slots for quick retrieval.
Sideboards Add Serving Space
By the time eight hungry guests are seated at the table bearing eight place settings, stemware, and an ornamental centerpiece, space becomes limited.
The dilemma is solved when side dishes are arranged on the sideboard for buffet-style serving. If complete meals are individually plated in the kitchen for presentation, display desserts and coffee service on the server instead.
Whether hosting a small cocktail party or a full holiday dinner, the top of the sideboard keeps edibles accessible without cluttering the tabletop.
For cocktail gatherings, transform the top of the buffet into a bar area by arranging glasses, a blender, bar tools and drink mixing ingredients.
When not in use, the sideboard stands in as an attractive display piece. A floral arrangement and a pair of framed photographs depicting family milestone moments can grace the top.
Hang an attractive mirror or framed painting on the wall above and this space will become the starring finishing touch of your dining room arrangement.